Livestock sets up for '01 encore
By BRADY DENNIS
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 27, 2001
ZEPHYRHILLS -- For the 11th consecutive year, the high-powered electricity of heavy metal is poised to reverberate through the peaceful prairies of Pasco County.
Livestock 2001 -- and the bands, beer and chaos that come with it -- is set for Saturday and Sunday at the Zephyrhills Festival Park off U.S. 301.
More than 35 bands and 18,000 hard-partying headbangers are expected to attend.
"The event itself has a life of its own," said Michael Sierra, the park's owner. "It's amazing how it develops. It becomes a little city for the weekend."
Sierra said festivalgoers come each year from as far as California and Connecticut. They line the roads outside the park, tent in tow, waiting to get in Friday afternoon and set up camp. And start partying.
The festival, which started in 1990, has gained attention for being an event where future rock stars begin to hit the big time.
Kid Rock, Hootie and the Blowfish, Bush, Creed, Foo Fighters and Limp Bizkit are a few of the well-known bands that appeared at Livestock on their way to fame and fortune.
Headlining this year's event are the Black Crowes, Tesla, 3 Doors Down and Offspring.
There will be two stages set up in the park, with acts playing on each simultaneously. And, of course, there will be the usual carnal attractions of sex, drugs and plenty of beer.
In the festival's second year, it suffered a bruised reputation when a drunken driver plowed through the campground, hitting eight people and killing a Palm Harbor man. In 1997, a Hudson woman was struck on the head by a flying guitar from the stage during Motley Crue's set; she and the band later settled.
The sheriff's office Thursday issued a warning to drivers who dare venture down U.S. 301. Sheriff's office spokesman Jon Powers urged motorists to avoid the area between Chancey Road and the Hillsborough County line from midday Friday through Sunday.
Despite the rowdy reputation, Livestock usually doesn't get too out of control for off-duty sheriff's deputies who work the event, Powers said. "I don't recall any major problems," Powers said. "There are some (overdoses), some fights, some disorderly conduct type things. But not (too bad) for a gathering of its size and temperament."
Sierra said he doesn't think of Livestock as "wild" at all. He says the people there are determined to party anyway, so they might as well come together to do it.
"I think what they like best is they can come party as hard as they want and they don't have to worry about going on the street and killing everybody," he said. "Also, it becomes a real bargain when they can buy a ticket for less than 40 bucks for all these bands, plus three days of partying."
WHEN/WHERE: Saturday and Sunday at Zephyrhills Festival Park, off U.S. 301. Gates open at 9 a.m. each day.
PARKING/CAMPING: Parking is $5 per vehicle per day. Overnight camping in the rough, available beginning Friday afternoon, is $50 per vehicle.
NOT ALLOWED IN CONCERT AREA: Camcorders, coolers, beepers, cell phones, lawn chairs or cameras.
TICKETS: $35.98 for both days, through Ticketmaster. For information, call (813) 832-1000, or visit http://www.98rock.com.
SATURDAY, MAIN STAGE: Beginning about 9:15 a.m. and continuing past midnight (in order of appearance): Systematic, Skrape, Hed (pe), Spineshank, Tantric, Cold, Mudvayne, Presence, Disturbed, Linkin Park, the Little Kingz, Staind, 3 Doors Down and the Offspring.
SATURDAY, MARS MUSIC STAGE: Beginning about 9:15 a.m.: Hell on Earth, Rude Squad, Puddin Hogs, 28 Gates, Grim Faeries, Greed Engine, Flood, Born into Kaos, Chromatic and Crossbreed.
f,SUNDAY, MAIN STAGE: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Nonpoint, Oleander, Tesla and the Black Crowes.
SUNDAY MARS MUSIC STAGE: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: The Spoils, E3, the Bushhounds, Saturn 5, Darwin's Waiting Room, 10 Second Drop and Neurotica.
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